I’m sure you’ve all heard about the big blizzard that hit quite a bit of the country last week. There were many names for it. Blizzaster. Snowcapolypse. Whatever. I’m having a much harder time with winter as a result of it.
My dislike of cold weather started my first quarter at Ohio State, in January of 1994. Treks to class averaged 10-12 minutes of walking from the dorm to the classroom building, then all the way across campus to a lecture hall. Didn’t help that my first class of the day was math, and it started at 8:30am. I don’t like mornings, and I was completely unprepared for the cold cutting through my pants, my coat. (I was unprepared in many ways for that first quarter of college, but that’s a completely different blog post.)
That year, we had a -40F below wind chills, ice storms, and all snow all the time. It was miserable. I skipped so many classes that quarter, and my GPA showed it. Eventually, I learned how to layer, but then I had to deal with sniffling in class, and sweating once I got a good pace going. Not to mention feeling bulky and constricted. I remember, after the ice storm, trying to walk to class and falling every few steps. I gave up and went back into the dorm, defeated and depressed.
Ever since then, my feelings for winter have gone South. I got one “snow” day the entire four years I attended OSU. And that was when I learned that the older one gets, the fewer snow days one gets. Winter wasn’t fun anymore.
I don’t like being cold, I don’t like snow, and I hate ice. So this blizzard was so not the thing. We got news about it Monday, but we’re cynics. NO way this storm was going to live up to the hype, right? I’d been dealing with winter best I could. Adam was a big help. Driving me to the train station so I wouldn’t have to walk in the single digit weather (that we’d been having since Thanksgiving, so help me God). The snow was manageable, albeit gross. (In my neighborhood, people don’t bother to clean up after their dogs in the best of times, so when there is snow out there, it’s way worse. You would NOT want to try to build a snowman with this snow. Although, as Adam said, you wouldn’t need coal for the eyes–plenty of dog poop to use for it if you’re so inclined. Ick.)
Anyway, the snow started to fly late Tuesday morning, or early afternoon. People were fleeing the Loop in droves. I managed to get out of work 30 minutes early ONLY because I skipped lunch. I was on pins and needles hoping we’d get a snow day, because it was getting worse and worse out there. (We didn’t find out until almost 10pm that night that the office would be closed Wednesday, and I paid for it by working a full day Saturday *sigh*) Thursday, I tried to go to work, only to stand on the train platform in negative temps for an HOUR waiting for a train that had enough room to fit me and the hundreds of other people waiting. One never came. I went home and it took me hours to warm up. I even tried doing some Sun Salulations to create internal heat, but for some reason, anytime I attempt yoga, Crookshanks is all MUST PLANT MY BIG BUTT RIGHT IN THE PATH OF CHATTARANGA RIGHT NOW so I got through three of them before I was going to endanger myself, him, or both of us. Back to the space heater I went.
I finally got to work Friday morning, and that’s when I noticed that people had sat lawn chairs and coolers in parking spots. “Dibs” it’s called, and if you take someone’s dibs, you can expect your car window to get smashed in.
I lost it then. I don’t like living in a place where something like this is even an issue. I was freezing. I felt constricted and bulky, like the damn Michelin man. I was trying to climb snow drifts and falling. All I could see was snow, dirty, nasty piles of snow that was filled with pee and dog poop and city juice and black crap. Nothing pretty about that. I felt stranded and helpless and trapped. Not cabin fever–I am pretty much a homebody and have no issues holing up in the house chillin’. But trapped in the sense that if something happened and I needed to get help or give help, I’d not be able to do it. I do not like that feeling one bit. It was like the snow was closing in on me and was going to bury me. I still feel that way when I see the huge drifts on the street corners.
The sad thing is that there is a lot about Chicago to love, as long as its not winter, and as long as the city is not pocket-raping me with some new stupid fee or tax. I LOVE my yoga studio. I love the friends I have made. I have a job. I have a pretty easy time finding Chocolate Chunk Rice Krispie Treats (although the lack of BBQ Fritos here has me scratching my head), and there is a lot to love here in the summer.
But right now, it’s hard. I’m fighting every day. I have enough energy to go to work and come home and crash, that’s about all. I’m just filled with so much negativity, which is not how I want to be! Just six months ago I was all Happy Nelly and whatnot. Ugh. I will be so glad when the buds start growing on the trees and the flowers start blooming. I will not be sorry to see the back of this winter.
I don’t know. Maybe I just need time to feel sad. Get it out of my system. Then I can work on being happy again.